Most of us want to help when we see or hear of people in need, but often we simply feel too overwhelmed. This is especially true when considering the issue of hunger in America where 49 million people – 16 million children, are not always sure about where their next meal will come from. We don’t feel like we can possibly make a dent in what seems like an insurmountable problem. The fact is, none of us can do it all alone, but together even the smallest of individual efforts done in collaboration with others can be a tremendous force for change.
But, where do you start? It all begins with just two simple words: “I will…” That’s exactly how Sodexo is encouraging action this month.
Every April, Sodexo holds its annual Servathon event, which engages employees, clients, vendors and customers to volunteer time effort and expertise tackling hunger in their local communities and holding fundraisers to support area hunger-releif organizations. For 2012 it kicked off its “I will…” campaign, asking 125,000 employees in North America to make a simple statement about what they will do for Servathon and then post it to the company’s STOP Hunger database.
For every statement that is posted to the STOP Hunger database French’s Foodservice, a longtime vendor partner to Sodexo, is donating $5 to Sodexo Foundation – up to $5,000 to help end childhood hunger in America. In addition the supplier is also donating up to an additional $10,000 to Sodexo Foundation when Sodexo client sites order preselected French’s products between March 1 and April 30, 2012.
“I will” has been extremely successful in engaging a great number of pledges for Servathon. Here is a very small sample of the many that have already been submitted:
I will provide after-school snacks to school-aged children. – Frances
I will recruit 10 employees to enroll in payroll deductions. – Charmion
I will donate non-perishables to my local food pantry. – Allyson
I will coordinate a food drive and collect $32,000 lbs of food and raise $4,500. – Jonathan
I will sort and repackage food at a food bank. – Bob
I will double my payroll giving to Sodexo Foundation. – Shondra
Sodexo employees continue to make “I will” statements in support of Servathon every day. For anyone reading this post that hasn’t already made and posted a commitment, I hope this inspires you to do so today.
Imagine the force of will and the impact of 125,000 Sodexo employees in North America or 413,000 Sodexo employees worldwide in 80 countries working to beat hunger. Post something today. I will. Will you?
Robert A. Stern is senior vice president and general counsel for Sodexo, Inc. and president of the Sodexo Foundation, which supports innovative programs to help children and families in the United States who are at-risk of hunger.